Kiev court hears Tymoshenko's appeal against prison sentence
KIEV, December 1 - RAPSI. A court of appeals began on Thursday the preliminary hearing of an appeal filed by former Ukrainian Prime Minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko against her sentence.
A Kiev district court sentenced Tymoshenko on October 11 to seven years in prison for abuse of power in signing gas contracts between Ukraine's Naftogaz and Russia's Gazprom in 2009. Both her defense attorneys and opposition activists believe her prosecution is driven by politics, while the authorities have denied the allegations.
The journalists are watching live broadcast of the trial in a conference hall. They cannot see if Tymoshenko is present in the courtroom. Her supporters earlier said that her poor health condition may prevent her from attending the hearing.
Before the session the gateway metal detector at the court entrance was almost jammed with journalists, parliamentarians and people who come to other hearings.
At the preliminary hearing the court will consider technical and procedural issues.